Contributed by Ms. Bidisha Pillai, Officer in Charge, UNGIFT in South Asia
Trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents cannot be solved by a single nation or an organization working alone. Need of the hour is to counter these violations against children through a coordinated international action by governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and communities worldwide. Following the 1996 Stockholm and 2001 Yokohama global forums, the Government of Brazil hosted the World Congress III against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 25-28 November 2008.
The congress, attended by nearly three and a half thousand participants across the world, representing civil society, governments, international organizations and youth, was organized around five broad themes, namely:
- Forms of Sexual Exploitation and its New Scenarios
- Legal Framework and Accountability
- Integrated Cross Sector Policies
- Initiatives of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Strategies for International Cooperation
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) has been actively involved in combating and preventing human trafficking through its programmes and initiatives in collaboration with the National Governments, particularly the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in India.
As part of the above mentioned partnership approach and as well as in preparation for the Congress, UNODC, in collaboration with MWCD, compiled an
India Country Report on efforts to combat human trafficking, which was presented at a high-level inter-governmental meeting under the theme of Integrated Cross Sector Policies on 27th November, 2008.
The report is a process documentation, which marks the journey in India to address issues of human trafficking in women and children from World Congress II (WCII - Yokohama, 2002) to World Congress III on Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents.
The report highlights the good and emerging practices in the area of anti human trafficking, acknowledging the efforts of the Government, civil society organizations, international, bilateral and multilateral agencies, survivors groups, and dedicated individuals in the process. The report was presented at the meeting by Dr. Manjula Krishnan, Economic Advisor, MWCD. The Indian Delegation also comprised of Dr. Santha Sinha, Chairperson, National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Ms. Anju Bhalla, Deputy Secretary, MWCD, and Ms. Sandhya Bajaj, Member, NCPCR. UNODC ROSA was represented by Ms. Bidisha Pillai, Officer in Charge, UN.GIFT in South Asia.
The report was appreciated by members of other government delegations and participants and presented a good opportunity for UNODC to showcase the initiatives on Anti Human Trafficking in South Asia, especially highlighting those involving a diverse range of stakeholders including the government, law enforcement agencies, civil society and the private sector.